Pre-settlement funding is a financial arrangement that allows a plaintiff in a legal case to receive a portion of their expected settlement before the case is resolved. This funding is often used to cover living expenses, medical bills, and legal fees.

According to a recent report by LendingClub, 72% of Americans have experienced a financial setback in the past year, with 61% saving to cover their expenses. Pre-settlement funding can be a time-consuming process for those facing financial hardship while waiting for a court decision.


Pre-settlement funding, also known as pre-settlement cash advances or lawsuit funding, is a financial arrangement where litigants receive a portion of their expected settlement before the case is settled. . This type of funding is usually provided by third-party companies known as litigation or legal funding companies.

Now I discuss the types of Pre-settlement Funding

Pre-settlement funding comes in a variety of forms, each with unique features and considerations. Understanding these types can help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs and case details.

Non-resource funding

Non-recourse funding depends on the outcome of the case. If the plaintiff loses, he does not have to return the money. This provides a level of financial security and may be less risky for the borrower, as the repayment obligation is directly linked to a successful legal outcome. This is very traditionally the most efficient type of pre-settlement funding.

Resource funding

    Recourse funding is required to be paid regardless of the outcome of the case. Whether the plaintiff wins or loses, the funds must be returned. This type of funding may be suitable for those who are confident of the success of their case or who have the means to repay the funds regardless of the outcome.

Consumer security  Guidelines

Consumer protection in pre-settlement funding includes transparency in contracts, clear disclosure of terms and adherence to state regulations. These measures ensure that plaintiffs’ rights are protected and that the funding process is conducted in accordance with legal requirements.

Certain states have enacted legislation to protect consumers in these transactions. The Alliance for Responsible Consumer Legal Funding (ARC) supports laws that provide specific protections, such as requiring plain English and transparent contracts that clearly outline consumer rights and responsibilities.  

According to ARC, states with the highest levels of protection include Maine, Ohio, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Vermont. Indiana has legal protections, but there are also limits on the availability of these financial products. ARC is particularly critical of the laws enacted in Tennessee and Arkansas.

Pre-settlement funding alternatives

When you’re waiting for a settlement and need financial help, there are other options to consider beyond default funding.

Personal Loan: If you have a good credit score and enough income to repay the loan, you can qualify for a personal loan. Funds can be used for any purpose, including medical expenses and rent or payments.

Qualifying for pre-settlement funding

Eligibility for pre-settlement funding is a multi-faceted process that involves a thorough review of both the case and the plaintiff. The funding company evaluates the actual strength of the case, the likelihood of a favorable outcome, the highest expected settlement amount and outcome, and other relevant factors.

Many funding companies may also look to the plaintiff’s financial situation, legal representation and overall credibility. The purpose of this thorough qualification process is to ensure that funding matches the strength of the case and the plaintiff’s needs, minimizing risks for both parties.

Here’s how default funding usually works:

  • Application: The person involved in the lawsuit (plaintiff) applies for pre-settlement funding. The funding company evaluates the merits of the case and the plaintiff’s chances of winning a settlement.
  • Approval: If the funding company determines that the case has merit, it may approve the application. Approval is based on the strength of the case rather than the plaintiff’s financial history or creditworthiness.
  • Advance: Once approved, the plaintiff receives a cash advance, which is a percentage of the expected settlement amount. This money can be used to cover immediate expenses, such as medical bills, living expenses, or legal fees.
  • Payment: Refunds are subject to the outcome of litigation. If the plaintiff wins the case and receives a settlement, they use a portion of the settlement to pay the pre-determined funding company, along with the fees specified in the funding agreement and with interest. If the plaintiff loses the case, they are usually not required to return the advanced funds.

It is important to note that default funding often comes with higher fees and interest rates because of the risks involved for the funding company. Additionally, the advance amount is usually a percentage of the expected settlement, and the actual settlement amount may be higher or lower than expected.

Although pre-settlement funding can provide financial relief to those involved in protracted litigation, it is important for litigants to carefully review the terms of the funding agreement and consider the potential costs before pursuing this option. It is necessary. Legal advice may also be sought to understand the implications of such arrangements on the overall strategy of the case.


The lawsuit comes with many challenges. Even if you win, it can take months or years to get a settlement. During this time, you may struggle to pay for expenses such as utilities and food. If you’ve been injured, your first clue is that medical bills are piling up.

When you are stuck in a pending legal process, consider seeking pre-settlement funding after consulting with your attorney and financial advisor. You may be able to receive the funds within a few days. If you don’t receive a settlement, you usually don’t have to pay, which can make this a less risky option.


When is pre-settlement funding a good idea?

It’s worth considering when you can’t terminate and you have a pending lawsuit. Pre-settlement funding can provide a financial bridge until your case is settled. Consult with your attorney and financial advisor to determine if pre-settlement funding makes sense in your particular situation.

Is there a pre-settlement payment limit?

Yes, every company has its own cash advance limit. Companies will only lend a percentage of your expected settlement value, which is usually between 15% and 20%. For example, if a company decides that your potential settlement amount is likely to be $50,000, you can expect offers between $7,500 and $10,000. Many companies also have a dollar amount limit and will not raise more than a certain number of funds.

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